Danat’e! Hello, Cousins! I’d say we have a treasure in our hands with this edition of The Malahat Review. Welcome! What a great time to be alive as an Indigenous author and storyteller. One of the best parts of growing just a little bit older every year is reading new work by authors who knock you on your hiney. It seems to me our trailbreakers like Jeannette Armstrong, Lee Maracle, Maria Campbell, Mini Aodla-Freeman, Thomas King, and Tomson Highway are all doing great, and there’s a new generation of writers out there like David Robertson, Niigon Sinclair, Carol Daniels, Daniel Heath Justice, Jennifer Storm, Rosanna Deerchild, Dawn Dumont, Taqralik Partridge, Tanya Snow, and Bren Kolson blazing their own trails—so it is a joy to share with you stories that spoke to my heart and spirit.
Joshua Whitehead’s piece “Jonny Appleseed” is fearless. I love the erotica, the devastation, the Ninja night missions with self and lust. Jonny, you can take me anywhere. I love your insight, your secret life, your hunger. The same goes for Lisa Bird-Wilson’s “Counselling.” From the first line to the last, all that’s here is a whirlwind of bravery, truth, intrigue. Natasha Gauthier’s “White Buffalo” is astonishing, mysterious, and we are proud to announce that this is her first published piece! Darlene Naponse’s “She is Water” will haunt me forever. Wow. This is a wicked blur of something dark, something magic. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. Darrel McLeod’s “Maci Manitowi (The Devils)” is a history lesson for us all. I love how birds warn Mosum something is wrong at home: the devil is at the door wanting the children. Terrifying and true.
As I write this, the Standing Rock and the Muskrat Falls protests are in full effect and social media is helping to bring global awareness to what’s happening here in Kanata. With writers like these and for everyone else who sent their writing in, we are standing together in a time of Revolution. And I am grateful to be standing, writing, reading, and sharing for a better world for all. Mahsi cho and with respect.
As it appears in The Malahat Review's Indigenous Perspectives Issue (#197)